The process of creating my mosaic art pieces.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Tropical Storm Zeta 

Mobile Babe's high temperature today will be 33 degrees. Ya Whoa Ho! Nippy.

Our high will be near 80. Kinda nice. But the thing is this here...it isn't cooling off.

Right now there's a Tropical Storm...Zeta...number 27 this year. Not that it's going to hit us, but it's telling us the water isn't cold.

And if the water isn't cold in December, what the heck is going to happen in July. Those hurricanes get to be monsters because the water is warm in the Gulf of Mexico.This isn't a good sign for the season.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Mosaic Ash Urn 

Last year when my thyroid stopped working, I felt as if I were going to die. I started mosaicing a box to contain my ashes.

You may wipe away a tear, but I actually was having fun constructing the box out of Durock and pieceing out a design with symbols of my life...eg...a gator since I went to UF...blue and white tiles to represent La Grange High School...yeah, sappy, but I was sick. Anyway...

Once they got my meds right, I stopped feeling morbid and stopped working on this box. Until last night.

The glass Plant Daddy gave me for Christmas is so georgeous, I want to spend eternity surrounded by it. I started back up on the box.

Plant Daddy had a cow. He thought I must be dying again. He hovered around the mosaic studio all day until I convinced him he'd be the one in the box if he didn't leave me alone to compose in peace.

I made a stupid design error. So today I get to take some tesserae off and make a correction. But it's fun now that the thyroid's mostly better.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Mosaic Shoe and Mosaic Newsletter Items 

Two projects got started tonight in the old mosaic studio.

Having all these beautiful new Bisazza colors, I decided to mosaic another shoe. I started prep work on the shoe…took out the lining and painted it with Kilz.

While the Kilz was drying on the bench, I was sitting at the table finishing a star for the mosaic Christmas tree. Looking up, I saw that the shoe was crooked. Not just a worn heel, but the woman who walked in that shoe had stretched it way to the left. It cannot be corrected.

If the base is off now, the mosaic will never work. I tossed the shoe away.

Over the weekend, I will visit the Goodwill to look for a pair of high heel pumps.

The second project is an easy breezy flower pot with a sea shell motif. It will be a smaller version of the 7 gallon shell pot I made in the fall.

It will get its photo taken at various stages and become the featured craft for the next Friends of the Gardens newsletter.

The January issue of Garden Center Management magazine arrived today and features an article about Chip Hunter and his mosaics. He works in stained glass mosaics. Check it out at Mosaica website.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Mosaic Class Patterns 

I am getting excited about teaching mosaics now. Today I wrote up instructions for how to make a flower pot like the one below. I can give the instructions to the students as a handout to guide them. I think this might help organization a little...at least it helps me organize myself!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Star Mosaic 

Since Plant Daddy gave me some yellow Bissazza for Christmas, I am adding a star to my mosaic Christmas tree. It's really cold in the studio tonight. I came inside for a cup of tea to warm up...and a quick blog.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas! 

What a happy day! Instead of a jar of exotic hand lotion, Plant Daddy gave me a tub of Mastic and some gorgeous glass tiles! Better than the finest jewelry in my book! Little Mind Escape gave me a scarf to keep me warm in the mosaic studio on those cold January afternoons.

The best gift of all is having such a great family!

Later today we'll eat turkey and broccoli picked fresh off our own bushes. Double Yay! I hope you all have a peaceful and loving Christmas! Amen!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve '05 

Getting ready for Christmas Eve dinner...PlantDaddy has made bread. I have a lasagne cooking in the oven. Little Mind Escape and friend(s?) are on the way over as soon as the stores close. The little Bisazza mosaic Christmas tree makes a cute centerpiece.

PS. I peeked at one of the presents Plant Daddy gave me. I am so excited...He bought me a tub of Mastic! Yay!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Mosaic Classes! 

It's Official! I'm teaching Mosaics!

Print copies of the Quest are out and my class is being offered. The Web site info at Lake Community Education is not up yet for me to link it here. I'm sure it will be soon tho. But for today I have the Print copies! Yay!

We will meet Mondays 5:30 to 7:30 PM at Tavares High School Bldg 2 Room 112. January 30th to March 13th with no class Feb 20th.

Cost is $64 registration and a $5.00 supply fee.

Register with Community Education at 352-253-6780!

This is the happiest Santa gift for the holidays! Wow!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Mosaic Trivet 

A couple of requests for mosaic trivets have come across my desk so here's a very quick note...

The one pictured below was made for my Aunt last year. I got a cork disc from the plant/nursery area at Lowe's and fused it to a ceiling tile cut into a circle. The rest was straight mosaic work, but that's what the base was.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Done with the Dentist 

The dentist worked on me today. I must admit she did not hurt me. My anxiety was high, but I got out with a clean bill of dental health....at least till the next episode. I am very happy with my new dentist.

Then I hit 3 stores and got everything on my hit list for Plant Daddy. Yay! Shopping is officially over. Now must start wrapping.

I spoke by phone to the community education lady yesterday. The Quest is printed and she is going to bring me a copy. Last time I checked, the class schedule was not posted on line, but I'm sure it will be soon....Watch this space...

Monday, December 19, 2005

Mosaic Studio Madness 

Okay, there hasn't been a freeze here on our farm for the last 2 winters. So far it doesn't look like there will come a freeze this year. It's still in the mid 70's.

Today is December 19th. I'm in the studio this evening working on the Bisazza Christmas tree and GRRRR I have to spray for mosquitoes. Double Grrr.

I finished transcribing and typing the Vera Bluemner Kouba tapes and sent them to Roberta so she can have a Merry Christmas. The line at the Post Office was ridiculous today and the post lady wasn't in a good mood. Wonder why!

Tomorrow I have to dash to one more store for Christmas shopping. There's something I meant to get PD but I forgot until today. Last minute panic....

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Mosaic Christmas Tree 

Here's the project I was working on last night...a Christmas tree made from chipped Bissazza. I will have a lot of Dremel work to do this afternoon.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Eggnog Mosaic Blues 

I was gonna write a blog tonight
And catch you up on news
But I poured a little eggnog
And added in some booze.
Now I'm warm and happy
On this cold wet Saturday
But, hell. I can't remember
What it was I had to say.
I'm going to the studio
If I can find the place
And work on a new project
Till I fall out on my face.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Long Distance 

Today was a day for hearing from friends and family we don't holler at often enough...

This morning Jimmy and June called from New Orleans. They are still dealing with Katrina. June says everything still smells no matter how often it's been washed; no matter what cleanser has been used. They have more work ahead of them both inside and out, but they are laughing and definitely in the Christmas spirit.

This afternoon Mom called to say she got the package of Italian candy we sent...and that she has eaten almost the whole box already. Now I know where I get it!!!

This evening a box of Riveria Pears arrived, a gift from Plant Daddy's sister Jan! We are ever so glad Scott retired and they got out of Washington DC.

This all made for a very pleasant day.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Dental Work 

Nooooo! Nooooo! Noooo!

I have a bad toothache. I think a filling fell out. It HURTS!!!!!

I have to go to a Dentist.....


I have a deep fear of dentists. I would rather face a snake or an airplane ride.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Does it pay to be Green? 

In 2005 I purposed (whoa!) to sum up all sorts of miscellaneous expenses and incomes. I just wondered if any of these thousand cuts were significant if netted.

One of the items I kept track of this year was income off of recycling aluminum cans.
I recycled all from our household use. I picked up beer cans along the highway in front of the house. And every now and then, a sympathetic friend would donate a sack of trash to me. That was pure joy.

Now the total: This year I made...$27.78.

Did that pay? Who knows. It still averages $2.32 a month and that is still more than the interest on my savings account.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Mt Dora Art Car SAMA Newsletter 

This issue of the SAMA newsletter has a nice article about the Mt. Dora Mosaic Art Car. However there is a technical error that needs to be corrected.
The adhesive used to apply tesserae to the car was not rubber cement. Silicon adhesive was used. Below is a picture of volunteers in Joe Difiore's Mosaic Studio applying tesserae using silicon.

The entire art car construction start to finish can be viewed on this site by accessing the archives beginning in July and August 2004.

Poetry Contest 

I saw it in the paper
The cutest little ad
Write a poem! Win money!
Was what the paper said.

I usually resist them.
I’ve lived, I’ve been around.
But since this ad was local
I laid my money down.

The entrance fee was 8 bucks
That’s not a lotta dough
It’s one trip to McDonald’s.
And I could spare that, so…

I wrote a little poem
About my garden fair.
I mailed it to the contest
In Mt Dora over there.

Can’t wait to win the money.
Can’t wait to claim the prize.
(When I lose my 8 bucks
It won’t be no surprise)

Entering the contest
Sure was a lot of fun
I can’t wait till next year
When I’ll write another Poem.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Too much Caffeine

Little Mind Escape and I went Christmas shopping this afternoon.
We had lunch at Subway where I had a Mr. Pibb. A few hours later we took a break over latte’s. Geeze Louise, I am wired!

I may get to sleep by Tuesday.
Caffeine is causing my mind to race I am having out of control thoughts….like….

What’s wrong with that song Shake your Laffy Taffy?

My favorite TV show is “Dirty Jobs”

Bob Morris was in Leesburg promoting his book last week. I would like to ask him what ever happened to Pat Jordan?

I would vote for Obama but not for Hillary.

People with face lifts look funny.

Maybe Dan Gunderson will have another Buzz In in ’06.

We are watching a tv show about a 750 Lb man. Blech!

I don’t understand pomegranates.

Buzzards will feed on road kill armadillos almost immediately but will often ignore raccoon road kill.

John Lennon is dead. Get over it. Move forward musically. The Gorillaz are a great place to start.

It's now 11:30PM...time to go run on the treadmill a while

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Polpette de Melanzane 

Since Eggplant is abundant in the garden, I searched out yet another Eggplant Adventure Recipe to deal with the overflow.

My Italian Nana’s cookbook offers more eggplant recipes than any other on the shelf, so I called it into service. It is written in English, so I can’t blame the mistakes on language barrier.

I made “Polpette de Melanzane” .

Don’t that sound tasty?

It is a nice way of saying…this is why all your relatives died of gallbladder and heart disease. But Mama Mia it was delicious!

1 large Eggplant
2 green peppers, chopped
¾ cups breadcrumbs
1 tsp paprika
2 Tbsp Olive oil
Tomatoe sauce
1 onion grated
2 eggs
2 tsp salt
1 Tblsp grated Parmesan cheese

Pare and cut up eggplant; cover with boiling water and cook until tender; drain and cool. Mix onion, peppers, 1 egg, ½ cup breadcrumbs, salt, paprika, and cheese with eggplant; roll into balls, dip in flour, second beaten egg, and roll in breadcrumbs; fry in hot olive oil. Serve covered with tomatoe sauce.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Awwww Cute! 

Oh Lookey! My sister has a kitty named Snowball!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Vera Bluemner Kouba Tapes 

Since this afternoon was rainy, dark and miserable, I decided to stay inside with mosaic cat Zeus and transcribe more of the Kouba interview tapes. I am almost finished now and it's getting exciting.

What I can't wait for is the next step....to see if Favis will edit them and publish...and where and how will she publish...popular press or technical...or just how are materials like this handled in the art world???

All these years I've written in horticulture, in a milleau that involves mailing the entire manuscript to the publishing body for consideration. But in order to expand, I have to learn about new routes, query letters and proposals and the like. I kinda like this. And there are a lot of nice helpful people in the writer's group.

On Monday, Plant Daddy is going to a grant writing workshop. I wish I could go, but I'm not faculty. At least, PD is going to take good notes for me. More to learn...Yay! Learning is a good thing.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


I am a seller on Amazon.com.
As part of that, I agree that I can ship the item sold within 48 hours. Usually, I ship within 24 hours.
I go to the post office every morning. If your order is in by 9AM, it gets shipped that morning!

So I ordered a Christmas gift for Plant Daddy from Amazon.com.
I got an e mail this morning...5 DAYS LATER...that shipping is delayed.
The seller obviously did not have the item in hand! Now I am on back order.

It was a hard to find thing. I was thrilled to locate it.

Oh, obviously I was tricked.

I will give the seller a dog dirt review. If I ever get my item.

I am going out today to see if I can find something remotely similar at a brick and mortar place. If so, I will cancel my order on line. MAD MAD MAD and somebody at Amazon.com is going to hear about it! GRRRRRR

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Gardening today 

Here's a shot of my garden today. There's broccoli, onions, eggplant, green beans (inside those greenhouse doors to keep warm overnight) there's bell peppers, sugar peas and tomatoes. Inside the greenhouse with the beans is cukes. In the greenhouse next door is lettuce. We're eatin' good. Yum!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Mosaic Christmas Wreath 

Mosaic Mom likes to decorate for Christmas with the Mosaic Christmas Wreath made from Bisazza.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Saga of Saag Chole 

Today for lunch I had Saag Chole.
I cannot even pronounce this, but I ate it.
I saw the box on the store shelf and the picture looked good.
The box says it contains spinach, garbanzo beans and fenugreek leaves.
The thermometer icon on the box indicates “hot”.

It was actually delicious.

A few hours later, however…Plant Daddy is threatening divorce if I don’t go outside or light a candle or spray the Lysol…something,… anything….

Are you sure a wet Pakistani donkey didn’t just walk through the living room?

Last time this happened, I came home with a package of Japanese soba buckwheat noodles because I liked the picture on the box. Well, it wasn’t as tasty as this saag stuff.

1.Neither of these products will get a repeat sale.
2. I obviously need a chaperone at Publix.

Pretty tile 

This is the same mosaic birdhouse photographed indoors. It shows the tile better. The tile was the whole inspiration for the piece. Oddly enough, this is the first piece I didn't have a name for. Does anybody feel moved to name it?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Mosaic Project with Teens 

Mom has finished up all her little projects. Mom is bored. This won't last long though because beginning in January I am going to start a mosaic project with the National Art Honor Society students over at the high school.

And I'm kinda cogitatin' about what we should do.

No walls.

I wonder if anybody out there has something they'd like to donate to get mosaiced? like maybe a surfboard or an aderondack chair ( I didn't spell that one right), How about an old bicycle with wide fenders or a maniquin (Heck, I didn't spell that right either)

But if you have something that might make an interesting project, contact me. Thanks.

Mosaic Bird House 

Friday, December 02, 2005

Mosaic Chicken Ornament 

Finished "Chicken Coop".
I bought the chicken salt shaker for a quarter at a yard sale in Mt Dora.
I used a fence post cap from Lowe's for a frame.
I still cannot cut Bissazza effectively, but it was better this time.
Turned out OK.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Mosaic Studio 

Here's what's in the studio today...
Plant Daddy got the legs on and the Bunny Mirror Mosaic is complete...
Mosaic Chicken Coop is waiting to get a brass hook hanger...
Mosaic Birdhouse in the back is getting trim attached...

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